Kentucky Clerk Asks Judge Not to Punish Her

State Senate leader is on her side
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2015 1:07 AM CDT
Updated Sep 3, 2015 6:23 AM CDT
Kentucky Clerk Asks Judge Not to Punish Her
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky.    (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Can county clerk Kim Davis refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, keep her job, and avoid a contempt of court charge? She seems to think so, and the president of Kentucky's senate is on her side. Davis is due before a federal judge at 11am, and in a last-minute legal filing, she argues that it would be unfair to punish her for disobeying an order that she is "presently unable" to comply with because it "irreparably and irreversibly violates her conscience," the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers filed a brief asking the judge to delay his ruling until the state has had a chance to change its marriage laws to accommodate Davis.

"The Supreme Court ruling has completely obliterated the definition of marriage and the process for obtaining a marriage license in Kentucky," Stivers said in a statement. He wants to pass a law exempting Davis from issuing licenses, but the state legislature isn't due in session until January and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear doesn't want to call a special session, the AP reports. Davis, whose case has already been rejected by the Supreme Court, says it would violate her conscience to "issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate," and one of her lawyers tells NBC she is looking at options including issuing licenses that don't have her name on them. (Davis' own marital history is pretty tangled.)

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